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Book Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

The Uses of Enchantment
The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
Bruno Bettelheim
Alfred A. Knopf 04/91 Paperback $12.50
ISBN: 0140137270


In this classic, Dr. Bruno Bettelheim argues that fairy tales make excellent intellectual, spiritual, and emotional tutors for young people. Like Biblical parables, they create occasions for boys and girls to confront their inner selves. Through them children can wrestle with feelings of self-worth, sibling rivalry, oedipal dilemmas, and questions about the nature of evil and right and wrong. The legends of Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty, the Three Bears, and Cinderella are skillfully analyzed. Quotations from G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien lend support to Bettelheim's thesis that fairy tales both delight and instruct.

 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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